What Is Cloud Infrastructure Security?

cybersecurity cloud

You can find development environments in a cloud environment, managed hosting environments where various applications can be developed, and development environments for testing. Since you can use outsourced services, you wouldn’t need to buy any software, network equipment, or data center space here. You would also save a lot of money as the suppliers usually charge users based on the number of resources they consume.

Cloud infrastructure can generally be broken down into three basic service models. There are several types of clouds, including public clouds, which are typically hosted offsite. You will find several different applications for different customers on the same network. Therefore, the business can reduce costs and risks to its customers and provide flexibility.

It is only possible to build a private cloud for a single client. Clients are thus in control of the service quality, server security, and data security. In addition, cloud computing is also available in data centers and colocation facilities, as well as in the cloud itself. Providers of these clouds can build and manage these clouds for their customers.

Hybrid clouds are another type of cloud infrastructure. The clouds are a combination of both private and public cloud services. In hybrid cloud models, you can achieve external provision scaling or maintain service levels during extreme workloads. You can also use these when dealing with spikes in workloads.

Cloud hosting provides you with a wide range of reliable and excellent hosting solutions, regardless of your business’ size, which can cater to all your needs. Their cost-effectiveness and hassle-free nature make them an excellent choice. In today’s market, you will find a wide variety of cloud computing companies offering services to businesses.

Public Cloud Security

Cloud providers are responsible for securing infrastructure and providing tools that help organizations secure their workloads in public clouds. The following are your organization’s responsibilities:

  • The protection of workloads and data, compliance with relevant standards, and the logging of all activity for auditing purposes.
  • A Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) platform can be used to automate the process of securing cloud configurations and new resources.
  • You should know the services and monitoring provided by your cloud provider’s service level agreements (SLAs).
  • You should carefully evaluate the security measures of third-party providers if you use services, machine images, container images, or other software they provide. If the security measures are insufficient, you should replace the provider.

Private Cloud Security

The private cloud model can control all layers of the stack. Internet access to these resources is generally not made available to the public. By protecting the perimeter of a corporate network with traditional mechanisms, you can achieve a certain level of security. For your private cloud to be secure, you must take the following additional measures:

  • Gain visibility into your running workloads by using cloud-native monitoring tools.
  • Detect insider threats by monitoring privileged accounts and resources. Because resources can be automated easily in a private cloud, malicious users or compromised accounts can have severe consequences.
  • To prevent a VM or container from compromising the whole host, ensure. Complete isolation between virtual machines, containers, and host operating systems. 
  • A dedicated network interface for each virtual machine or a VLAN should be used, and a separate network interface should be used for each host.
  • Implement security measures before implementing a hybrid cloud to ensure that your public cloud services can be securely integrated.

Cloud security’s top 7 challenges

A public cloud-based security model is fundamentally different from a private cloud-based one because it lacks clear perimeters. A modern cloud approach with automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) methods, distributed serverless architectures, and ephemeral assets like Functions as a Service makes this even more challenging.

Organizations that are cloud-oriented today face multiple layers of risks due to advanced cloud-native security challenges:

  1. Enhanced attack surface.

Public cloud environments are becoming a very attractive target for hackers who can access and disrupt workloads and data by exploiting poorly secured cloud ingress ports. A wide variety of malicious threats, including malware, zero-day attacks, account takeovers, and many others, have become common.

  1. Insufficient visibility and tracking.

A cloud service provider controls the infrastructure layer and does not disclose it to their clients. The lack of visibility and control in PaaS and SaaS cloud models is even more pronounced. Identifying and quantifying cloud assets or visualizing cloud environments for cloud customers are often difficult.

  1. Workloads that are constantly changing.

Cloud assets are used at scale and velocity, provisioned and decommissioned dynamically. Traditional security tools are simply inadequate in a dynamic and flexible environment where workloads are ephemeral and ever-changing.

  1. DevOps, DevSecOps, and Automation.

A well-developed CI/CD culture that embraces DevOps must include appropriate security controls in code and templates early in the development cycle. Changes to the security posture of a workload after it has been deployed in production can undermine it and increase the time to market for the organization.

  1. Granular Privilege and Key Management.

It is common for cloud user roles to be configured very loosely, granting extensive privileges beyond what is required or intended. Untrained users or users without a business need to delete or add database assets are commonly granted database delete or write permissions. Application errors can expose sessions to security risks if keys and privileges aren’t configured correctly.

  1. Complex Environments.

Enterprises increasingly use hybrid and multi-cloud environments that require security solutions that work across public clouds, private clouds, on-premise deployments, and branch office edge protection.

  1. Cloud Compliance and Governance.

Many well-known accreditation programs for cloud providers, including PCI 3.2, NIST 800-53, HIPAA, and GDPR, have aligned themselves with the current cloud providers. In any case, it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure that their workloads and data processes are secure and compliant. Since cloud environments have poor visibility and dynamic processes, achieving continuous compliance checks and issuing real-time alerts about misconfigurations becomes nearly impossible without using tools to perform continuous compliance checks.

The Benefits of Zero Trust

For the first time, a senior Forrester Research analyst named John Kindervag introduced Zero Trust in 2010. Cloud security is based on the concept of Zero Trust, which means you cannot trust anyone or anything inside or outside of the network without verifying everything first.

By promoting a least privilege governance approach, Zero Trust, for example, restricts users’ access to only what they need to perform their jobs. Developers must ensure that applications that access the web are secure as well. Hackers who take over an application will access the database if the developer hasn’t blocked ports consistently and hasn’t implemented permissions as needed.

Cloud network security is further enhanced through micro-segmentation in Zero Trust networks. By segmenting workloads into zones, securing the inside of each zone, and applying policies to control traffic between them, micro-segmentation creates a secure environment in data centers and cloud deployments.

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